Google launched Duo to take on Apple’s FaceTime and Microsoft’s Skype

It took a while, but Google’s answer to Apple’s FaceTime and Microsoft’s Skype has finally arrived. Named Duo, it is Google’s standalone video chatting app.

Duo will be at direct loggerheads with FaceTime, Skype and Facebook Messenger, all of which has been in the market for quite some time.

What’s unique about Duo is that, before the call, the app will show a live video of the person at the other end. The feature is called ‘knock, knock.’

Apart from this, Duo is like any other cross-platform one-to-one video-calling app. Like the others, Duo also provides end-to-end encryption of all video calls made from the app.

And just like Apple’s FaceTime, Duo only requires the phone number to start a video call. It is also pretty barebones in the sense that the app will only let you have one-on-one video calls. There are no options of video-conferences so far, which is just great for simplicity.

For several years, Hangouts was the video-calling app Google had for everyday users, but after the launch of Duo, Google will start tailoring Hangouts to enterprise users.

Duo has been made into a simpler, more reliable way to connect to friends. The app is available both for Android and iOS.

It is the first of the two apps that Google announced during I/O 2016, the other being Allo, Google’s chat-bot assistant. The two apps combined will now become the main medium of communication in Google’s ecosystem.

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